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Houston at Chicago

Scoreboard
Houston (51-99)010000002000380
Chi. Cubs (66-85) «001002000001490

Cubs 4, Astros 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- The Cubs finally caught a break.

Matt Garza pitched nine strong innings and Marlon Byrd's 12th-inning dribbler was ruled fair, giving him an infield single and lifting Chicago to a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday.

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"We don't do anything the easy way around here," manager Mike Quade said of the Cubs, who were coming off an 11-inning loss in Cincinnati on Thursday night.

Starlin Castro set up the winning rally with a leadoff walk, went to second on Darwin Barney's sacrifice, and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored when third baseman Chris Johnson couldn't handle Byrd's dribbler up the line.

"I think I set a record for the shortest walk-off hit ever," Byrd said.

The Astros argued that Byrd's hit should have been a foul ball and replays suggested they were correct.

"I was right over top of it, so I had a really good look," Johnson said. "Once I saw it hit foul I just tried to make contact with it because the ball's dead, you know? ... We'll just move on. People make mistakes."

Garza was one strike from finishing off a five-hitter when Carlos Lee hit his second home run of the game, a two-run shot into the left-field bleachers that tied it 3-all. Garza said he decided to challenge Lee with a fastball.

"It is what it is, man," Garza said. "It's one of those situations where I said, 'Here's my best. What do you got?' He guessed right and beat me.

"I knew where I had to put that pitch for him not to hit it. I just left it up the middle and he got it."

Nevertheless, it was a solid outing for Garza, who struck out four and threw a season-high 124 pitches, allowing seven hits and no walks. Jeff Samardzija (7-4) threw a scoreless 12th to pick up the win and send the Astros to their 99th loss.

Houston has never lost 100 games in a season in the franchise's 50-year history.

"They're tough losses, but on the other hand, you have to look at the positives," Lee said. "We're playing good baseball. We're playing good games."

Geovany Soto led off the third with his 15th homer, and Aramis Ramirez had three hits, including his first triple since July 9, 2010.

"[Rodriguez] left me a fastball right there and I put good wood on it," Soto said.

Lee had three hits and three RBI for Houston. He opened the scoring with a solo blast leading off the second. Lee has hit in 22 of his last 24 games, and has 23 career homers at Wrigley Field, third among active players.

"I would say since the All-Star break, I've been feeling pretty good," Lee said. "I've found a position where I feel real comfortable and I'm seeing the ball real good."

Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez allowed three runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking four. He is two strikeouts shy of becoming the first Astros lefty to record 1,000 in a career. Reliever David Carpenter (0-3) gave up the winning run.

The Astros swung early and often against Garza, who faced the minimum in five different innings and no more than four until the ninth. After allowing J.D. Martinez's leadoff single in the fourth, Garza retired the next 13 Astros in order.

"For the main part, [Garza] threw the ball unbelievable today," Soto said.

The long game was bad news for a Cubs squad weary after Thursday night's four-hour defeat. The Cubs were tired, but mustered enough energy to mob Byrd after his game-winner.

"They had plenty of energy, punching me in the stomach," Byrd said. "I just held my ground. We felt pretty good today. It's one of those things, we got in late but you have to get up for every game."

Notes

Castro went 0 for 4 with two walks and remains seven hits shy of becoming the youngest Cub to reach the 200-hit mark. ... The Cubs opened their homestand Friday afternoon after finishing their road trip with the extra-inning loss at Cincinnati on Thursday night. It's the kind of scheduling crunch Quade would like to avoid given the ordinance that requires the Cubs to play day games on Fridays. "I don't know if it's a doable deal, but obviously you'd like to play a day game somewhere else before coming home," he said. ... Actor Martin Sheen performed during the seventh-inning stretch, singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." ... The Astros will send Henry Sosa to the mound on Saturday to face Chicago's Rodrigo Lopez.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Houston

C. Lee
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF5110001 .243
Jose Altuve, 2B3000001 .274
   a- J.B. Shuck, PH1000000 .263
    Angel Sanchez, 2B1000000 .241
J.D. Martinez, LF5010021 .268
Carlos Lee, 1B5233001 .279
    Jason Bourgeois, PR0000000 .302
    David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
Brian Bogusevic, RF5010011 .279
Jimmy Paredes, 3B4000021 .295
    Fernando Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Johnson, PH-3B1000001 .243
Clint Barmes, SS5000011 .246
Carlos Corporan, C4010000 .195
Wandy Rodriguez, P2010000 .172
    Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
   c- Brett Wallace, PH1000001 .261
    Lucas Harrell, P0000000 .000
    Xavier Cedeno, P0000000 .000
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    Matt Downs, 3B-1B1000010 .284
Totals4338307  
a-grounded out for Altuve in the 9th
b-fouled out for F. Rodriguez in the 12th
c-grounded out for Lopez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Wandy Rodriguez (2, Garza)
HR - Carlos Lee 2 (18, Garza, Garza)
RBI - Carlos Lee 3 (86)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (35)
SB - Jason Bourgeois (28, 2nd base off Samardzija/Soto)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Corporan-Barmes-Lee, Altuve-Lee
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wandy Rodriguez 5.2633451 3.55
Wilton Lopez 1.1000020 2.82
Lucas Harrell 1000000 2.84
Xavier Cedeno 0.1100000 0.00
Enerio Del Rosario 0.1000000 4.32
Wesley Wright0000100 1.00
Fernando Rodriguez 2.1100150 2.74
David Carpenter (L,0-3) 0.1111300 3.57
IBB - Ramirez by David Carpenter, by Johnson
WP - David Carpenter (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 107-66, Wilton Lopez 18-13, Lucas Harrell 13-10, Xavier Cedeno 7-4, Enerio Del Rosario 7-4, Wesley Wright 6-2, Fernando Rodriguez 37-24, David Carpenter 18-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 6-4, Wilton Lopez 1-1, Lucas Harrell 2-1, Enerio Del Rosario 1-0, David Carpenter 1-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 25, Wilton Lopez 4, Lucas Harrell 3, Xavier Cedeno 2, Enerio Del Rosario 1, Wesley Wright 1, Fernando Rodriguez 9, David Carpenter 5
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starlin Castro, SS4100212 .306
Darwin Barney, 2B5000011 .274
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5130110 .310
Jeff Baker, RF3111002 .276
    Reed Johnson, RF2000110 .315
Marlon Byrd, CF4011200 .284
Carlos Pena, 1B4010122 .233
Alfonso Soriano, LF3011002 .245
    Tony Campana, LF1010100 .268
Geovany Soto, C5111025 .221
Matt Garza, P3000030 .102
   a- Blake DeWitt, PH0000100 .260
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   b- Bryan LaHair, PH1000012 .429
    Jeff Samardzija, P0000000 .000
Totals40494912  
a-walked for Garza in the 9th
b-struck out for Marmol in the 11th
Batting
2B - Carlos Pena (25, F. Rodriguez)
3B - Aramis Ramirez (1, Rodriguez)
HR - Geovany Soto (15, Rodriguez)
SH - Darwin Barney (7)
RBI - Jeff Baker (23), Marlon Byrd (32), Alfonso Soriano (81), Geovany Soto (47)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano (34)
SB - Tony Campana (21, 2nd base off Del Rosario/Corporan)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Castro-Barney-Pena
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Garza 9733042 3.51
Carlos Marmol 2000030 3.84
Jeff Samardzija (W,7-4) 1100000 3.06
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 124-88, Carlos Marmol 19-17, Jeff Samardzija 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 10-12, Carlos Marmol 1-2
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 33, Carlos Marmol 6, Jeff Samardzija 4
Game Information
Attendance - 35318
Game Time - 3:52
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - David Rackley